by John Walters

Starting Five

Gareth Bale Out

Inveterate MH readers are well aware of our ages old sports crush on Gareth (“assistant to the vice president”) Bale. In 2013, not yet 25 years old, the 6’1″ Welsh striker who played for Tottenham was named the Premier League Footballer of the Year. Dynamic and athletic, Bale was poised to become the face of the Premier League for the next half-decade.

Like so many Brits before him, Bale instead looked afar and decided to seek greatness on foreign soil. He engineered a transfer to Real Madrid, where he was forever in the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo (as all humans are destined to be). Then Ronaldo left before last season for Juventus and Bale oft-injured and oft-disappointing, failed to pick up the load.

The young Bale was a force of nature on the pitch

Bale still has three years remaining on his contract, but his relationship with coach Zinedane Zidane (“ZZ Klopp,” as we like to call him) may be damaged beyond repair. “Gareth didn’t play because he didn’t want to,” Zidane said of last Sunday’s preseason friendly versus Bayern Munich in Washington, D.C.

Rumor abroad is that Bale, 30, will be transferred to a Chinese Super League club. Here’s hoping that he is sent to an MLS club instead or back to the Premier League. We were always against his personal Brexit (in the reverse direction). He would’ve been a legend in England had he remained.

FAANG Bites Back

Remember, not so long ago, when tech stocks were down and the Trump administration and/or Congress was making Amazon, Apple and Facebook its whipping boys? Calling Zuckerberg to appear before Congress and threatening Amazon with an anti-trust suit and calling Tim Cook feckless? The ol’ “Smarties are bad elitists” crap that Trump has been peddling?

A look at these stocks on the final day of May, not even two months ago, and at their opening prices today:

Facebook (FB)……. $177……………..$202

Amazon (AMZN)…. $1,775………..$1,996

Apple (AAPL)………$175…………….$208

Google/Alphabet (GOOGL) $1,105…..$1,142

Three of the four are up between 15-19% in less than two months. Only Netflix has cratered since then among FAANG, due to increasing competition and having raised its monthly subscription rate.

Facebook reports earnings after tomorrow’s market close, Amazon and Google after Thursday’s, and Apple after next Tuesday. Stay tuned.

Murder In B.C.

They met two years ago at a youth hostel in Croatia. Chynna Deese, a 25 year-old from Charlotte, and Lucas Fowler, 23, and from Australia, were young and in love and adventurous. Their next adventure was to be a tour, in a 33 year-old blue van, across western Canada to visit the country’s national parks.

It was not to be. The couple were murdered along the side of the road—their van had apparently broken down—in far northern British Columbia, most likely on Sunday evening, July 14. It took police three days to identify their bodies.

Deese and Fowler were murdered on the Alaskan Highway and not the notorious Trans-Canada Highway, which is also known as the “Highway of Tears” because of the dozens of unsolved murders that have taken place along the remote road the past 50 years.

Furthering the mystery, a pair of male teens who were en route to the Yukon territory for work have vanished. But their camper-van, which had been put aflame, was discovered. The body of a middle-aged man was found not far from the van.

While the two locations are nearly 500 miles apart, both are in northern British Columbia and in very remote areas.


Mitchell appeared with Stewart in his two most popular films

Check out this lineup of films: Lost Horizon (1937), Gone With The Wind, Stagecoach, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, Only Angels Have Wings (all 1939), It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) and High Noon (1952).

One man appeared in all of these films, and always in a supporting role: Thomas John Mitchell. Born in Elizabeth, N.J., in 1892, Mitchell may be the greatest male character actor ever. Certainly, he owns the most impressive resume. He was also the first male actor to win an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony (a TOE?).

If you recognize him, you probably do as George Bailey’s forgetful Uncle Billy, who leaves behind the fat envelope of cash that plunges George into suicidal despair. He won his Oscar for Stagecoach, the film that is better known as John Wayne’s coming-out party as a Western icon.

Where In The World?

A friend was telling me about a spot where she and her family recently visited, and I remembered the name. Then I looked it up. Looks heavenly, does it not? It’s somewhere in North America. You’re welcome to take a guess. It’s sort of a surfer’s haven and it’s fairly remote. Answer tomorrow unless you’d like to place your guess in the comments.

Music 101

Hurting Each Other

In the early Seventies it was impossible to take a long family car trip without hearing a Carpenters tune, and that was okay. Siblings Richard and Karen Carpenter released three No. 1 hits and five No. 2 singles during their career, which was beset with personal problems: Richard became addicted to Quaaludes and had to take a year off in 1979 while Karen died four years later, at the young age of 32, from complications due to her long bout with anorexia nervosa. This is a biopic just waiting to be made. No one but no one sounded like Karen Carpenter.

Remote Patrol

2001: A Space Odyssey

10 p.m. TCM

Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece tracing the arc of mankind from the first murder to a sinister supercomputer. From 1968. And you probably cannot name a single actor from the picture (I can’t). The film has a 2:45 running time, so get your blankie and pillow out.

7 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. Katie Ledecky had to withdraw from the 200 Free heats this morning & the 1500 Final due to illness! It seems she’s been fighting some kind of bug since she got to S. Korea. (She’s not the only one as I’ve read of some other swimmers also afflicted). The shocking 400 defeat makes more sense now. Not to say that Katie can’t ever be defeated in one of her specialties but what happened in that race was WEIRD! During the 1st 200 meters, she was slightly behind the eventual winner but then surged ahead & led by over a body length until the last 25 meters. The Aussie teenager then surged past & Katie slowed significantly, almost like she was suddenly dragging a 200 pound anchor behind her! Let’s see, I think I’ve watched more than 75 of Katie’s races & had never seen that before. The only time I’ve seen her slow up like that was if she was half a pool ahead in a heat or semi & she had but 10-20 meters to go.

    Anyhoo, once-a-year or quadrennial competitions are never just about who’s “best”, it’s also about who’s fortunate in that they don’t get sick or injured at the wrong time. I just hope it’s some quick bug & not a virus like Epstein-Barr, I’ve seen that hamper athletes for over 2 years!

    Hopefully, Katie will recover enough to compete in the 800 Free later this week. Her absence will make the USA medal tally even worse for this WC, which is actually somewhat normal for Team USA in the World Championships the year before the Olympics. Back in 2015, we did so “poorly” (still won the most medals but was far below our usual tally) that I worried about Rio the next year. I shouldn’t have as I think we set an all-time high at Rio! I’m not sure why we have the swimmers qualify from the USA championships held the YEAR BEFORE for this 1-year-prior-to-Olympics-WC, but we’ve done that for several years now.

    Hopefully, Katie remembers Michael Phelps didn’t even compete in the 2015 World Championships & he did “ok” in the following year’s Olympics! 🙂

    You’re right – Thomas Mitchell seemed to be in EVERY movie in the 30s & 40’s. And yet to me, he’ll always be either “Uncle Billy” or “Pa”.

  2. And it’s not just the GOP Nazis that want to “break up big tech”, it’s some of the Dems too! They SHOULD stick to putting “caps” on drug companies’ prices in the USA! Can ANYBODY explain why a pill cost 10-20 times (or more) in the USA than in all other countries? And I’m not talking about generics. Price gouging, pure & simple. Just one more thing BROKEN in the USA health care so-called “system”.

  3. This comment is for the Moon Fraud special Sunday edition. Yes, I read it Sunday but not being one of a brain spontaneous, the Open and TDF occupied the day.

    However, Moon Fraud disturbed me. Not so much the idea that moonshot was a hoax but the idea that humans in 1968 through 197x couldn’t accomplish what your guest writer poses as near impossible.

    I suppose I’m a little too Pat Fitzgerald now. The idea that the impossible/difficult could be solved with a slide rule, courage and desire diminishes who and what we are as humans.

    Issac Newton wanted answers and invented calculus. Galileo, bored in church, figured out the pendulum would swing at the same rate irrelevant of weight or length using his eyes and his pulse.

    To think humans couldn’t hit 6.48 degrees or whatever is a slight to all that is human.

    We have wonderful computing power, networks that operate at close to light speed, databases with more information than imaginable relevant and otherwise, collected for a pretty good period of time. (the software particularly compression allows that data to be at our figure tips in an instant. Remind me sometime to tell you when the ATT Bell Labs people said the network would be the computer). To think highly trained pilots of their day who learned to fly with instruction and with the seat of their pants couldn’t come back from the moon is an insult to mankind.

    And more important, how did the moon rocks get here…did Santa deliver them?

    • Don,

      Even though I’ve been described as an Idiot Out Walking Around (ie. from Iowa), I like where you’re going here. What about Leonardo Da Vinci? Thomas Edison? The Orville Brothers?
      Artificial intelligence is an interpretation of what the human mind already knows.

      And I have it on record from both NORAD and Santa that they had no involvement in the procurement of the moon rocks. Ho Ho Ho!

    • Playing the contrarian, Don, how do you know they’re moon rocks? I think all my friend is asking, and it isn’t much, honestly, is for someone to use science in order to debunk his theory. To be fair, I rewrote a lot of his argument in an attempt to make it more palatable to a common mind (such as my own) and in the doing may not have done the best job of interpreting it. Much of his argument has to do with what speed the astronauts would have to have been traveling at (in other words, free fall or orbital speed or escape velocity) and the fact that the Earth travels through space at 67,000 mph so that how do you expect a rocket that can never travel that fast to catch up to it if it is not already in the Earth’s orbit?
      Again, get past the “moon rocks” argument or the “greatness of man” argument and use physics to dispute him. Almost none of us can because we don’t understand it well enough so we fall back on arguments that don’t address his point. Sounds very much like the people who support Donald Trump these days, to be honest. If something’s too complex, just use a tired old trope to make your argument.
      I’ll let my friend speak for himself tomorrow, I hope. It’s about science. If you can’t use science to debunk him, just admit that maybe we all need a lesson or two in astrophysics.

      • I agree the science is difficult for me to refute. My point is there is a window for reentry. I didn’t read it was impossible but highly unlikely. Hitting the window takes planning, determination, courage, skill and luck.

        Of course the moon rocks could be fakes.

        My mind is open to whatever the truth is but to say it is highly improbable doesn’t convince me.

        I was 16 years old when the Eagle landed. 1963 through 1969 were turbulent. I admit a personal bias wanting to believe we landed on the moon.

        Please ask if asteroids are subject to the same physics.

        Did the Apollo craft chase the earth or did it take a path to collide with the earth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *